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#26 2013-05-13 03:42:04

WonderWoofy
Member
From: Los Gatos, CA
Registered: 2012-05-19
Posts: 8,412

Re: Does Anyone Run Arch For Server Use?

I use Arch for my home file server as well.  But it primarily serves files, runs my torrent client, and allows my parents to use Time Machine with netatalk.  So if it goes down for a minute there is no ill consequence.

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#27 2013-05-13 13:47:39

seiichiro0185
Member
From: Leipzig/Germany
Registered: 2009-04-09
Posts: 182
Website

Re: Does Anyone Run Arch For Server Use?

I use Arch on my home storageserver and my virtual server which hosts my website, mail, web-RSS-reader and so on. Mail is secured with an external backup mx so I don't loose mails if the server goes down for a bit and the website and other stuff isn't exactly critical if it is offline for some hours/days. This combo is running fine for several years now with the occasional downtime for a reboot on big changes (switch to systemd for example).


My Scripts at github: github
My Homepage: Seiichiros HP

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#28 2013-05-14 22:40:12

shagrat
Member
From: Norway
Registered: 2004-05-25
Posts: 18
Website

Re: Does Anyone Run Arch For Server Use?

All my servers run Arch. One of them is serving 400k monthy pageviews without breaking a sweat with 512MB RAM: http://mediaqueri.es. Never had any downtime other than the occasional reboot to load a new kernel.

Last edited by shagrat (2013-05-14 22:44:13)

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#29 2013-05-14 23:35:11

robotanarchy
Member
Registered: 2012-09-03
Posts: 17

Re: Does Anyone Run Arch For Server Use?

I'm also using arch as home server, running > 10 services (mpd alarm clock [you might want to call this mission critical -- it has never failed me yet!] , openvpn, cups, wlan access point, ...).

Kernel is linux-lts (no one has this mentioned in this thread yet?), and everything works pretty fine for about half a year now smile

EDIT: I do a lot of backups, just in case: cronjob that hourly copies important system configs to a local git repo, which is an encfs layer to dropbox (I'll need to improve this though).


(PS: Xyne, really awesome post you made in the other thread tongue)

Last edited by robotanarchy (2013-05-14 23:44:37)

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#30 2013-05-14 23:46:28

fukawi2
Forum Moderator
From: .vic.au
Registered: 2007-09-28
Posts: 5,275
Website

Re: Does Anyone Run Arch For Server Use?

By the way, there are quite a few other threads about using Arch as a server:
https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=673859
https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=108319
https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=133284
https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=424319

But I must quote Allan on this topic:

Allan wrote:

If you have to ask whether Arch can be used on a production server, then the answer is no...

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#31 2013-05-15 00:59:22

crouse
Arch Linux f@h Team Member
From: Iowa - USA
Registered: 2006-08-19
Posts: 903
Website

Re: Does Anyone Run Arch For Server Use?

I've had Archlinux running servers for several  years now.  I've slowly been converting them to another distro, as I maintain something besides Arch at work, and honestly don't have the time anymore to keep up with the rapid changes that can break things on a server (systemd, etc). I've only got the one left to convert... it's running several of my websites, including Archlinux.me.  For me, I'd prefer to run Arch as the server OS, however time isn't on my side anymore and my job now takes up the spare time I used to have to mess around with Arch.  I agree with the above posters, if you have the time to dedicate to running Arch as a server, it's GREAT, if you don't.... well, it's probably a really bad idea wink   One a side note... having a "test" server that matches your production one to do your upgrades on before doing them on your production server is a VERY worthwhile thing to have (or if you have vmware, snapshots are awesome as well).

Being on the "bleeding" edge is fun, as long as you have time to stay informed of the change, and have the capability to make them of course smile

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#32 2013-06-03 14:31:29

shariebeth
Member
From: South Florida
Registered: 2010-04-27
Posts: 77

Re: Does Anyone Run Arch For Server Use?

fsckd wrote:

Arch Women use Arch Linux on their server.

Lol?  What's that about?

That said, I used Arch for 2 years for my webserver and it was great.  No troubles.  I did, however, get tired of the frequent need to update, so when I was finally forced to either go through the systemd conversion nasties or switch over to another distro, I decided to give Debian a try and broaden my horizons.  Arch is stil my main pc distro though.

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#33 2013-06-03 15:06:00

WonderWoofy
Member
From: Los Gatos, CA
Registered: 2012-05-19
Posts: 8,412

Re: Does Anyone Run Arch For Server Use?

shariebeth wrote:
fsckd wrote:

Arch Women use Arch Linux on their server.

Lol?  What's that about?

There is a group called "Arch Women".  I know I read this and even knowing of this group, I thought it sounded very funny.

Last edited by WonderWoofy (2013-06-03 15:06:14)

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#34 2013-06-03 15:45:03

conley
Member
Registered: 2013-01-09
Posts: 18

Re: Does Anyone Run Arch For Server Use?

I do. It's easier, because I can update my main computer and know what's going to happen with the server as well. Everything is just in sync so I don't have to worry about anything. And I have an i5 in it so I like thinking that the new kernels help with power effeciency, even though if the power savings from the kernels with regressions are combined with the kernels without regressions I probably didn't end up saving any energy! Anyway, my server is just for backups and a web facing minecraft server, so it isn't mission critical stuff. I may set it up as a web server sometime, though. I've had no troubles, just reboots to upgrade the kernel.

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#35 2013-06-03 18:48:19

Spider.007
Member
Registered: 2004-06-20
Posts: 1,135
Website

Re: Does Anyone Run Arch For Server Use?

We run several large websites on Archlinux; I manage ~ 50 machines total. I installed Archlinux after ~ 5 years of experience with desktops and personal servers and have never regretted it.

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#36 2013-06-03 19:16:00

ANOKNUSA
Member
Registered: 2010-10-22
Posts: 2,141

Re: Does Anyone Run Arch For Server Use?

I installed Arch on an old Dell tower for server use, then found that frequent critical updates on a LUKS filesystem were a pain (rebooting, attaching a monitor and keyboard just to punch in the passphrase, then repeating this every couple weeks).  I just use a minimal Debian install now.  I converted it to systemd and just used my personal configs (with a different shell prompt) for feature parity.  So everything "feels" the same, and I just run an update check every couple weeks.

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#37 2013-06-03 23:00:21

offbeatadam
Member
From: Hallandale Beach, FL
Registered: 2013-05-31
Posts: 7

Re: Does Anyone Run Arch For Server Use?

I run arch on more than one server. Depending on what the server does, Arch is the most logical fit. The problem with debian type distros, is also their benefit - their updates are slow, and mostly directed strictly as security updates. This is a hinderance to some projects, as many times things move faster than the speed of security now. Python, being an easy issue that springs to mind.

In addition, Arch gives me less annoyance over -devel things. The maze of dependencies for slow moving additions to a stable tree for python modules and (specifically) high performance http servers that I would need to build instead of install via package, just gets tiring after a while, and makes for ridiculously complex installation scripts for large clusters. The days of LAMP like stacks are gone, especially after this whole apache hack in the past two years.

Just because Arch receives bleeding edge updates does not mean that it has to be seen that way. Maintaining it under strict (PCI/SOX/Sas70) compliances is no easier or harder than Debian (or Redhat for that matter). The same solution stands true, updates are slower. That's it. It just means that, instead of trying apt-get update && apt-get --dry-run upgrade every day and compiling a list (if something is even pushed) of what can or can't be updated (well, the days of that are gone too, I just use RSS now), the policy is still the same. I manage a list, I check it against the potential for necessary urgency on security matters, and if I don't see a need it doesn't happen. To be honest, the infighting and general malaise between Canonical and the Debian communities kind of made me distrust their process a bit, and Redhat's susceptibility to financial suggestion made their overall credibility drop in my eyes too. Linux is linux, it all comes from the same place, and any security updates Redhat gets are available to us all the same. I used to be able to fit an entire debian HTTP server in some pretty tight space even in modern days when I did it on a true minimal install... but that required work. WIth arch, I start there, and I don't have to go any further than where I started.

As an aside, the main thing that drove me to use Arch for the first time on servers (My usage of it had already been for some time on my own desktop/laptops) was cgroups. Redhat only introduced them in RHEL6, and RHEL is expensive as hell. Fedora is just too bloated, and (at the time) the debian kernel wasn't going to see them for some time either. For a while (6.06->9.04) we used Ubuntu, and honestly I don't remember if we even looked to see if they were there. Arch was the easy frontrunner, because the secondary need was Python. Devs at the company used primarily python for their effort on internal applications, and they were getting heavily into needs that were going to be an epic undertaking to get accepted into any one of the 4. Arch just fit both needs.

Last edited by offbeatadam (2013-06-03 23:06:59)


"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." - Hanlon's Razor

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#38 2013-06-04 05:08:43

xjpvictor
Member
From: Singapore
Registered: 2008-04-05
Posts: 16
Website

Re: Does Anyone Run Arch For Server Use?

I use Arch on my vps. And arch is even the reason why I choose linode. I have my blog, rss reader, owncloud, email, vpn all on it and it's working pretty good. Personally, I feel it's more convenient to manage unofficial packages on arch.


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#39 2013-06-04 14:37:52

fsckd
Forum Moderator
Registered: 2009-06-15
Posts: 3,538

Re: Does Anyone Run Arch For Server Use?

WonderWoofy wrote:
shariebeth wrote:
fsckd wrote:

Arch Women use Arch Linux on their server.

Lol?  What's that about?

There is a group called "Arch Women".  I know I read this and even knowing of this group, I thought it sounded very funny.

Lol, I didn't notice when I typed it; now I can't unsee it. tongue


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#40 2013-06-05 15:04:36

conley
Member
Registered: 2013-01-09
Posts: 18

Re: Does Anyone Run Arch For Server Use?

ANOKNUSA wrote:

I installed Arch on an old Dell tower for server use, then found that frequent critical updates on a LUKS filesystem were a pain (rebooting, attaching a monitor and keyboard just to punch in the passphrase, then repeating this every couple weeks).  I just use a minimal Debian install now.  I converted it to systemd and just used my personal configs (with a different shell prompt) for feature parity.  So everything "feels" the same, and I just run an update check every couple weeks.

That's why you use SSH :)

My procedure:

sudo pacman -Syu

"everything looks good? Okay. Next!"

ssh vishet
sudo pacman -Syu

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#41 2013-06-05 20:47:58

arch_gala
Member
Registered: 2011-03-23
Posts: 24

Re: Does Anyone Run Arch For Server Use?

I also run Arch as a server. Used to run it as a desktop too, but went back to Fedora.

Any server needs maintenance! Software evolves and so do security holes, just that it didn't happen to you, it doesn't mean it is not true.

Did anyone tried to maintain a linux server with another distribution for more than 2 years ? No? Why? Did you ran out of support/updates ?

Last edited by arch_gala (2013-06-05 20:48:09)

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#42 2013-06-05 23:31:20

ANOKNUSA
Member
Registered: 2010-10-22
Posts: 2,141

Re: Does Anyone Run Arch For Server Use?

conley wrote:
ANOKNUSA wrote:

I installed Arch on an old Dell tower for server use, then found that frequent critical updates on a LUKS filesystem were a pain (rebooting, attaching a monitor and keyboard just to punch in the passphrase, then repeating this every couple weeks).  I just use a minimal Debian install now.  I converted it to systemd and just used my personal configs (with a different shell prompt) for feature parity.  So everything "feels" the same, and I just run an update check every couple weeks.

That's why you use SSH smile

My procedure:

sudo pacman -Syu

"everything looks good? Okay. Next!"

ssh vishet
sudo pacman -Syu

I do use SSH, but the daemon won't start if the root filesystem's not mounted yet.

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#43 2013-06-06 01:17:59

Nyutag
Member
Registered: 2012-07-19
Posts: 16

Re: Does Anyone Run Arch For Server Use?

Run a remote serveur since july 2012 on Archlinux with amp (phpbb forum, piwigo, shaarli, krissfeed, zerobin...), minecraft serveur and vsftp. Never regret it.

Thanks Archlinux, the dev, and the awesome community!

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#44 2013-06-13 11:48:11

n0th
Member
Registered: 2010-11-14
Posts: 6

Re: Does Anyone Run Arch For Server Use?

I decided to use ArchLinux for my home NAS (running ZFS on linux, samba, iscsi, minidlna and torrent/usenet clients) because its what i'm used to.
It runs nicely, the only thing i'm wondering: how long can you ignore system updates without running into packaging-related  breakage with the next pacman -Syu?
Any first-hand experience?
Currently i'm doing upgrades several times a month at the very least, same as on my notebook.
Ideally i'd do a full manual system upgrade maybe twice a year, and forget that the box exists otherwise.

Last edited by n0th (2013-06-13 11:59:11)

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#45 2013-06-13 17:08:57

teateawhy
Member
From: GER
Registered: 2012-03-05
Posts: 1,045
Website

Re: Does Anyone Run Arch For Server Use?

n0th wrote:

I decided to use ArchLinux for my home NAS (running ZFS on linux, samba, iscsi, minidlna and torrent/usenet clients) because its what i'm used to.
It runs nicely, the only thing i'm wondering: how long can you ignore system updates without running into packaging-related  breakage with the next pacman -Syu?
Any first-hand experience?
Currently i'm doing upgrades several times a month at the very least, same as on my notebook.
Ideally i'd do a full manual system upgrade maybe twice a year, and forget that the box exists otherwise.

It is probably safer to ignore all updates, rather than doing partial upgrades. The time it takes until something breaks is mostly based on the rate of change in arch's infrastructure and the packages you have installed.

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#46 2013-06-13 23:04:12

fukawi2
Forum Moderator
From: .vic.au
Registered: 2007-09-28
Posts: 5,275
Website

Re: Does Anyone Run Arch For Server Use?

n0th wrote:

how long can you ignore system updates without running into packaging-related  breakage with the next pacman -Syu?
Any first-hand experience?

I've left boxes for ~12 months between updates in the past (3 - 4 years ago), and was fortunate enough to be able to still update them with a fair bit of work. Having said that, there have been changes over the past 3 months that I wouldn't want to have to process all together.

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#47 2013-06-14 07:21:03

darkfoon
Member
Registered: 2007-08-29
Posts: 40

Re: Does Anyone Run Arch For Server Use?

I've been running an Arch game server since 2006. At the time, I chose it because I had really terrible hardware and I wanted something that could squeeze the most performance out of the system (without having to recompile every binary for the system *ahem* gentoo).
Now in its 5th hardware incarnation (had to do a couple fresh installs along the way, but used the same configs and home partition and rc.conf until systemd came along...), it runs 3 Valve game servers, a webserver for the custom map files, a minecraft server, and murmur. It used to have dual-NICs and dnsmasq and dhcpd because I'd have it act as an internet router and bring it to LAN parties when everybody only had network switches.
Of course the uptime is nowhere near that length of time. wink

I suppose it's not exactly "production" but I have no problem keeping good uptime, and I update it weekly. (Valve servers break far more often than the OS tongue)

I agree with fukawi2; the /lib and /bin changes are things that I would not want to have to process together.  I nearly toasted my install processing the /lib and the signature updates at the same time. Suppose that's what I get for trying to do it at 4 am.

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#48 2013-06-14 10:55:08

hvnsweeting
Member
From: Vietnam
Registered: 2012-07-14
Posts: 5
Website

Re: Does Anyone Run Arch For Server Use?

According to this
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/FA … station.3F

...And of course, archlinux.org runs on Arch.

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#49 2013-06-23 03:10:55

GI Jack
Member
Registered: 2010-12-29
Posts: 85

Re: Does Anyone Run Arch For Server Use?

I do

I think the OP is confusing "server use" with "long term production enviroment", which is a common mistake because most servers are just that.

It really depends on what you need the server to do. Home servers, like home workstations are fine. Also, if you don't depend on third party apps or third software, and you can "just upgrade", its fine.

The fact is, if your using a computer for institutional use, such as a government, corporation, or infastructure, you CAN'T. your OS is a platform, and the website or programs ontop of the platform is more important than the platform itself. upgrades have to be reviewed and planned. a reboot for a kernel upgrade, or a webserver restart might cost a small amount of business(but need to be done). You have to cordinate these with non-technical people as well. So while this "production enviroment" is misconcieved as "server enviroment" the two are not mutually exclusive. The same is true for workstations, kiosks and end user terminals, that run specific software, which you can just randomly bump version numbers, as they are extensively with specific versions of upstream. The big diffrence is the updates and upgrades you get are small, and generally bug fixes and security patches, while retaining the same API/ABIs, interfaces, and most importantly, performance profiles(calculate TCO, and capabilities of higher level software).

For these types of set ups, you need a long term stable(LTS) distro. Arch Linux is not this, and won't ever be. This doesn't mean Arch Linux is bad, just that its not suited for this sort of role. However, Arch does make a GREAT server install,  but only if your NOT using it for a prodution enviroment. There is also no reason to believe its less secure, just not adapted to work socially with the organizations that need production grade software.

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#50 2013-07-07 08:33:18

cdwijs
Member
Registered: 2010-04-24
Posts: 162

Re: Does Anyone Run Arch For Server Use?

I use arch linux as a VDR server, It automatically records our TV shows by digitenne. This works OK, but there's one big disadvantage. I rarely update this server, so I can't install new software on it, as the old versions of the software can't be found on the arch servers anymore. Therefore I first have to do a full system update, fix the problems, and then install the new program.

So basically, arch linux is not suited for this server, but I do not like to invest the time to learn another linux distro, and rebuild this server.

Regards,
Cedric

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